It’s been 10 years since people turned out in their millions to watch the Olympic flame being carried across the country en route to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Where crowded streets, a sea of Union flags and children perched on the shoulders of adults greeted the relay team and their boisterous convoy as they approached the capital and this sporting summer memorable.
And now, a decade later, a new group of inspirational baton carriers are being sought to escort the Queen’s Baton across England ahead of this year’s Commonwealth Games in an event organizers hope will be just as successful.
The Queen’s Baton Relay will see 2,022 chosen people pass the baton across England on the final leg of its journey through the Commonwealth and on to the host city of Birmingham.
Having left the UK in October, the stick is currently on a gigantic tour of all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
It has already crossed 19 African countries, followed by stops in Pakistan, the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and parts of Southeast Asia.
Over the next few weeks it will move to the Pacific Islands, followed by New Zealand and Australia before spending two months crossing the Caribbean and the Americas before arriving in Canada in May.
From there it will stop in Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man before the relay makes a somewhat extended journey through Scotland for five days, four in Ireland North, five in Wales ahead of almost a month covering the back and forth of England before the opening ceremony of the games.
Organizers of the gigantic relay event are now looking for people willing to have the memorable experience of carrying the Queen’s Baton through part of England in July ahead of the games, which run from July 28 to August 8.
Although the exact route the baton and its relay will take through England has not yet been confirmed, organizers say they expect its long journey to cover all regions and therefore welcome nominations from all over the country.
From people with unique or inspiring stories to those making a positive contribution to their country – anyone aged 12 or over by June 2 can be nominated to be considered for a place on the road.
And with over 2,000 volunteer volunteers needed, it is hoped that a huge amount of applications will be pouring in before the February 14 closing date.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay marks the countdown to the biggest and most exciting sporting event in Birmingham’s history. Not only will the Commonwealth Games put the West Midlands on the world stage, but they will showcase the UK’s expertise in hosting inspirational and inclusive international events.
“2022 should be an exciting year of celebration for our country with the Games and Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The baton represents the start of that and will travel through 72 Commonwealth nations and territories. I look forward to relay connecting communities around the world and encouraging people to get involved in the Games, including the next generation of sporting heroes.”
After nominations close later this month, a panel will vet the names of those proposed, with successful baton carriers being contacted in April.
To nominate someone you know to join the Queen’s Commonwealth Baton Relay this summer, please click here.